Back in 1988 when people were still getting used to Arsenio Hall, my best friend and I were radical integrationists. Our cadre was known as GDZ. Like most 20-something yuppies, we threw parties with a high quotients of people with law degrees and 'Fortune 100 jobs'. (What were we thinking?) Well, we were black and we did play beach volleyball, so it wasn't too typical, at least not for 1988.
Like everyone else with a sense of humor and a daily newspaper subscription, I was a vapid addict of Calvin & Hobbes, the comic strip. I can't say that much I do in 'Cobb's Neighborhood' is influenced by that, but are any of us wired that tight with regards to attribution? (Hint: say no, Big Media is watching).
As marketing director of GDZ Productions, it was my job to pull the upscale black crowd in Los Angeles to our functions. Damn. That was a fun job. For our second annual beach party, aka Bash O Rama II, I introduced the theme of Bike Shorts Snapping. Just use your imagination and think of something sexy and spandexy. You get the picture. Knowing not everyone might have a pair, I appropriated Calvin.
The cool Calvin here became our mascot. Of course he spoke the lingo and was hip to all our trips. As time went by, I noticed Calvin other places off-strip. Now he's as popular as the Jesus fish on cars.
In these days of bootlegs and intellectual property battles, it's nice to know that people use icons to communicate something new. It would be boring to see only a pure Calvin, only doing what Watterson would have him do. The Calvin Clones have life, and although I'd like to think my volleyball playing Calvin was one of the coolest, it's good to know that you never completely know.